The Bay

Narrated by Steve Worsley, AnYi
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Pub Date 18 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 13 May 2024


A tender and poignant debut of the redemptive power of unexpected friendship.

In an old-fashioned fishing community on Morecambe Bay, change is imperceptibly slow. Treacherous tides sweep the quicksands, claiming everything in their path.

As a boy, Arthur had followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footprints, learning to read the currents and shifting sands. Now retired and widowed, though, he feels invisible, redundant. His daughter wants him in a retirement home. No one listens to his rants about the newcomers striking out nightly onto the bay for cockles, seemingly oblivious to the danger.

When Arthur’s path crosses Suling’s, both are running out of options. Barely yet an adult, Suling’s hopes for a better life have given way to fear: she’s without papers or money, speaks no English, and chased by ruthless debt collectors. Her only next step is to trust the old man.

Combining warmth and suspense and recalling a true incident, The Bay tells a tender story about loneliness, confronting prejudice, and the comfort of friendship, however unlikely—as well as exposing one of the most pressing social ills of our age.  

The Bay is an engrossing novel recalling the Morecambe Bay cockling disaster of 2004.

A tender and poignant debut of the redemptive power of unexpected friendship.

In an old-fashioned fishing community on Morecambe Bay, change is imperceptibly slow. Treacherous tides sweep the...

Advance Praise

“Careful and compassionate … compelling and tense … full of humour, and precise and beautiful description.” Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth Is Missing

“Beautifully written, rich and poignant … [with] a gentle humour … A compassionate and tender story … handled with sensitivity. One of my favourite books of the year so far. Highly recommended.” Anne Cater, critic

“A truly remarkable book, with lightning characterisation and such extraordinary compassion. I loved every page.” Kate Simants, author of A Ruined Girl

“A beautifully crafted and utterly absorbing story about the ever-present and ever-hopeful possibilities for human connection.” Janine Bradbury, Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of York

“Careful and compassionate … compelling and tense … full of humour, and precise and beautiful description.” Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth Is Missing

“Beautifully written, rich and poignant …...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781916812147
PRICE £17.99 (GBP)
DURATION 8 Hours, 19 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 7 members

Featured Reviews

A poignant and beautifully written debut novel inspired by the tragic events in Morecombe Bay, where 23 trafficked/undocumented migrant workers drowned while cockling on the bay.

An unlikely friendship blossoms between Arthur an elderly, curmudgeonly man bitter from the loss of his wife and the interference of his daughter who believes he’d be better in a nursing home and Suling when they meet in his garage where he has taken a fall and she is hiding from the debt collector. A terrified teenage girl, indebted to gang bosses who have smuggled her to England to follow her boyfriend and get a job with enough money to build her mother a house, and learn English. The relationship that blossoms between the two is heartwarming. A simple life lesson really.

Sulings story is an all too familiar one, a life endangered by a hope for better, trafficked into the country and exploited for cheap labour, a teenager in a strange country with no papers no language nobody to look out for her, and a head and heart full of big dreams. Utterly heart wrenching.

A powerful and emotive story which was narrated beautifully.

Thank you to NetGalley and Saraband Audio for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in return for an honest review.

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The Bay by Julia Rampen is an absolutely stunning debut novel.

I picked up this audiobook due to its reference to the Morecambe Bay cockling disaster in 2004 which I remember vividly and is sadly reflective of the human trafficking and disasters off UK shores to this day

However, the novel is a gentle yet striking account of unlikely friendships. Arthur is retired and widowed, tring to avoid being put into a home by his daughter. Suling is an undocumented, trafficked Chinese migrant who is terrified, with nowhere to turn, that is, until she runs into Arthur

The narration by Steve Worsley and AnYi is balanced and beautifully symbiotic. This was a great pairing to read this story

The character development and relationship development is authentic and emotional. The book is written with such empathy and understanding of the area, the disaster and likewise, the local community

My heart ached as much as it was lifted and I cannot recommend this audiobook enough.

Thank you to Netgalley, Saraband Audio, Saraband, the author Julia Rampen and the narrators Steve Worsley and AnYi for this heartfelt ALC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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An unexpected friendship develops between retired widow Arthur and a trafficked migrant when Suling attempts to escape the cruel treatment of a cockle picking gang in Morecambe Bay. The story is inspired by the Morecambe Bay cockling disaster in 2004, and the author cleverly creates realistic characters who I was invested in. Recommended. The audio book narration by Steve Worsley and AnYi was excellent. Thank you to Net Galley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a slow moving but powerful tale about an unlikely friendship between two people. They’re widely different in age and cultural background but both are beautifully portrayed in this carefully crafted story.

It’s really well written and Julia Rampen has captured the essence of time, place and people; this is a story set around cockle hunting in Morecombe Bay which resulted in a tragic loss of life of illegal immigrant workers. One such worker, hiding from debt collectors helps an old man who’s fallen. He’s lost, lonely and embittered, but slow,y, these two disparate souks come together.

The narration is excellent. Well balanced and totally in keeping with the tone and pace of the book.

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based on some fact, this work of fiction is a great read. The story of the cockle catchers in morecambe bay who drowned will be the most memorable factual part most of us remember. The research is extensive both of the local area and the event itself and is based loosely on labour gangs and illegal labour. Why do we need illegal labour? isn't it right for people to want to better themselves and emigrate? all these questions are thrown into the mix. The kindness of complete strangers can have such an impact and there is a lovely thread of friendship and respect woven alongside the storyline. Thank you #NetGalley for the audio book to review.

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Modern slavery is something we like to pretend we are ignorant of yet every now and then a piece of news flags it up. The Morecambe Bay Chinese cockle pickers who died on the sands are an example of this. This is the bay where I swim regularly in the sea; I remember their deaths, yet with 20 years passed, I also don't dwell on it. This book is a reminder to us not to be fooled by the rhetoric about illegal immigrants, to be more sympathetic, to memorialise those who have died ruthlessly and to do what we can to be active in the prevention.

A endearing and sad story.

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